Weekend in pictures: Euro 2016 knockouts, Harzand and Minding magic, Joshua title defence
Another hugely diverse weekend of sport saw Euro 2016 enter the knockout phase in France; top-class horse racing in Ireland; England, Wales and Ireland all complete their Summer Tours of the Southern Hemisphere in rugby union; and at home some brutal boxing!
Coral sports writers reflect on all the action with some memorable images:
Euro 2016 last 16
The France finals boasted some electric last 16 ties over the weekend, as Wales knocked out fellow Home Nation Northern Ireland, Poland pipped Switzerland on penalties and Portugal needed extra-time to oust Croatia. While, France also dashed the Republic of Ireland’s dreams of revenge, Germany saw off Slovakia and Belgium battered Hungary.
Poland proud after penalty prowess sinks Switzerland
Poland players and backroom staff rushed to congratulate midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak, after the Sevilla star sent the White Eagles soaring into the Euro 2016 quarter-finals with the winning kick in a tense penalty shootout against Switzerland.
Jakub Blaszczykowski had brilliantly put the Poles ahead in the first-half before an exquisite overhead strike from Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri forced the testy tie to extra-time and then spot-kicks, with new Arsenal signing Granit Xhaka the only player to miss.
Bale the pride of Wales
Gareth Bale had reason to celebrate after again providing the crucial breakthrough moment for his nation. Wales squeezed past unlucky Northern Ireland in a tight last 16 contest, with Bale’s deadly delivery into the box causing Gareth McAuley’s own goal.
Wales now have a place in the quarter-finals, but Bale may need to up his training, as his young daughter came onto the pitch to enjoy this latest victory and easily left her Dragons dad behind in the dust as the pair raced the pitch.
Croatia crash out, Portugal reach quarters
Cristiano Ronaldo was left having to comfort Real Madrid clubmate Luka Modric, after Portugal sent Croatia packing from the last 16 to book a slot in the quarter-finals.
It may have looked thrilling on paper, but the clash turned into a dour duel, with the Navigators requiring extra-time to beat the Blazers. Ronaldo was involved in the goal but it was Ricardo Quaresma who notched the winning strike.
Griezmann deadly on the double as Ireland exit
Euro hosts France booked their slot in the quarter-finals, potentially against England, by seeing off spirited fan favourites the Republic of Ireland 2-1. Robbie Brady had given the Emerald Isle outfit a surprise lead from a spot-kick, but the French fought back through Antoine Griezmann’s brilliant brace to break Irish hearts.
Germany sink Slovakia 3-0
A ruthless Germany were also in high spirits as they fired three past Slovakia in the most one-sided match of the last 16 thus far, thanks to goals from Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Julian Draxler.
Four star Belgium thrill
Hungary were hammered 4-0 by Belgium, allowing the Red Devils to set up a quarters clash with Wales, as all of Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld, Michu Batshuayi and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco on target, with Hazard’s effort a particular highlight.
Coral are proud to be commercial partners of The Curragh racecourse, which held the Irish Derby Festival this weekend. All eyes were on star duo Harzand and Minding. Could they follow up on previous successes?
Harzand delivers Derby double
Dermot Weld stable star Harzand followed up on his Epsom Derby triumph with victory in the Irish equivalent, absorbed late pressure and held off Idaho to win by half-a-length in the centrepiece of The Curragh’s Festival.
Minding produces in Pretty Polly
Aidan O’Brien’s dual Classic winner Minding followed up on her Oaks success with a comfortable and classy victory over a small field in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes on the final day of the Irish Derby Festival at The Curragh.
There was a mixed feeling from among British rugby fans as the Summer Tours came to a close. Wales were whitewashed by world champions New Zealand, while Ireland let a 1-0 lead slip in South Africa, and that leaves England…
Red Rose bring Cook Cup home
Having already bettered their highest-ever score in Australia during the historic series triumph Down Under, all that remained for Eddie Jones was a clean sweep of victories.
England excelled in Sydney, breaking their points record with a 44-40 win over the Wallabies. Owen Farrell kicked 24 points, including three conversions from four tries scored by prop Dan Cole, full back Mike Brown, number eight Bllly Vunipola and replacement hooker Jamie George.
On a star-studded card at the O2 Arena in London, Anthony Joshua and George Groves highlighted the evening…
Joshua eventually breaks through Breazeale
Joshua continued his 100 per cent win and KO records to 17 apiece, as he dropped Dominic Breazeale to the canvas in round seven, after his first defence of the IBF world heavyweight title. Joseph Parker, David Haye, Tyson Fury and Wilder are just some of the names linked to fight the British wonder next.
Groves wins grudge match with Murray
In what was touted as a must-win fight for both Groves and Martin Murray, it was the former who battled through by unanimous decision in an entertaining encounter. All three judges awarded a relatively comfortable 118-110 scoreline in favour of Groves.